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Snow Days at CAC

We’ve all been there — our pantries and fridges stocked with what was left at the grocery store and our prayers at night more influenced than normal by what the local weatherman is predicting: a snow day. Or in much of the state of Arkansas’ case, a snow week.

“I’ve always said that whether or not we have snow days is influenced by seniors’ prayer life,” Coach Sullivan joked last week as all three campuses were preparing to have school away from the buildings. “If we don’t get out of school, it’s on them.” 

You know the feeling. When many of us were in school, our snow days meant something entirely different. That first moment you stepped out of bed to peek through the blinds and hope your eyes met a blanket of white was the most important moment of your life. Whether there was a half inch of sleet on the driveway or 10 inches of snow on the road, we were going to find a way to sled down a hill. Gathering with neighborhood kids and spending all day outside building something or throwing something was basically the only thing on the agenda. 

“As a parent, I flashback to my fun childhood memories of snow days,” PV 3rd grade and 11th grade parent Casey Rine said. “I love going sledding with my kids, and yes we are going to build an igloo.  Although, I’m a kid at heart, I find that multiple trips up the hill make me a little more tired than when I was a kid.”

Students and teachers at all three campuses began preparing for winter weather on Feb. 10 with ice in the forecast for Feb. 11. Principals worked hard to create a plan for teachers to implement while looking ahead at snow predictions for Feb. 14-17. Seniors must have been praying hard as school went virtual Feb. 16-19 after a record-setting snowfall.

Isaac & Ivy Rine spending some quality time together.

“I grew up before cell phones or the internet, so finding out about a snow day was waking up early to watch the news hoping that your school popped up on the rolling ticker,” Casey said. “Once you saw your school, the excitement made it too difficult to go back to sleep.”

The Grice Family enjoying the snow!

“I remember as a child waking up early, turning on the TV to the local news station, and waiting for what seemed like forever to see ‘Central Arkansas Christian School’ CLOSED,” NLR 2nd grade teacher Andrea Grice remembered. “Snow days were very rare and still are in Arkansas. When we did have a snow day, I remember thinking ‘This is the best day ever!’”

While Andrea prioritized answering questions for students and parents throughout the week, she also had the opportunity to spend some extra time with her own children — Brady (5th grade) and Lucas (kindergarten) — helping them complete their own daily packet of work. Her 2nd grade students have been working on a skills packet and reading to get more accelerated reading (AR) points this week. 

“It is truly a blessing to know that my kids are staying caught up on their 2nd grade skills along with getting to experience God’s gift of a beautiful snowfall,” she said. “I know when we get back to the classroom in the coming days, we will be able to jump right back into our curriculum without any glitches. Adding additional missed school days is a thing of the past thanks to technology.”

Junior Reese Shepherd has been spending lots of time with her family and her new puppy this week while also focusing on completing her schoolwork. She remembered back to 4th grade when she did her first Cyber Day. 

“Fourth-grade me was having papers due, and I was like, ‘I can’t do this!’” she laughed.

After moving to remote learning in March 2020 and spending some time in quarantine during the 2020-21 school year, a virtual schedule was not a difficult transition for Shepherd. In fact, she looked forward to the week, hopeful.

“I was so excited. I have College Music 1st period this semester, and it’s just really hard to get up,” Shepherd said. “So, the extra couple of days where I get to sleep in are just amazing right now. Basketball is about to get crazy, so it’s nice to have a little bit of chill time.”

This wasn’t the first time during a Spring semester that students and teachers had to act fast in a transition to remote learning. It was almost a year ago that CAC was impacted by COVID-19 and began building a strategy for doing school at home.

The Shepard’s new puppy taking it all in.

“I’m so thankful for CAC and how they’ve handled multiple curveballs this year,” Casey said. “There’s been so many things for the administration, teachers and students to overcome. From my perspective, they’ve handled them with class, encouragement and professionalism. These are qualities that I want to instill in my kids. So when this snow storm hit, there wasn’t a hiccup in the way my family handled this new challenge. They knew what to do and didn’t flinch.

Balancing what you need to do and what you want to do can be hard to master at any age. Snow days in 2021 are teaching kids even earlier how to prioritize responsibilities and then enjoy the resulting reward.

“They wanted to get outside and play, but they also knew they had to get their work done,” Casey said. They’ve learned this balance of work and play through CAC. This will be a valuable lesson for them as they continue to mature. As a parent, knowing that CAC works hard to be prepared for every situation is a comfort. My kids didn’t miss out on the joy of a snow day, and they also didn’t miss out on a week of school.”

As temperatures in Central Arkansas reached as low as 1 degree this week, snow fell and then fell some more, and it didn’t go anywhere for awhile.

“As I sit here typing, I am in awe of the snow that continues to fall from the sky,” Andrea said. “I thank God for this opportunity to slow down a bit and just enjoy.” 

And the seniors said, “Amen.”